The Upper Louisiana Territory -- Where it all began
Ever since early fur traders, miners and farmers established what is known to be the first permanent settlement on the west bank of the Mississippi River, Ste. Genevieve has withstood the test of time.
In 1600s, Pere Jacques Marquette descended the Mississippi River to convert the indigenous Indians. In 1703, the Immaculate Conception Church, now on Kaskaskia Island, was founded by Fr. Mariot. The Kaskaskia Indians were "industrious and skillful" farmers, salt processors, hunters and fishers.
Jean Baptiste le Moyne de Bienville from France founded New Orleans c.1718, extending the corridor down the Mississippi River to the Gulf. While 1735 is celebrated as Ste. Genevieve's birth date, the village of Ste. Genevieve was established somewhere between 1722 and 1749.
Today Ste. Genevieve has the greatest concentration of original French Colonial buildings in North America and is still the only surviving French Colonial Village in the United States.
Genevieve, the saint for whom the town is named, was born in 422 AD in the village of Nanterre near Paris and at a young age moved to the city to take up a religious life. In 449 when the Franks laid siege to the city, Genevieve led an expedition to relieve the starving population by bringing back supplies that enabled the resistance to continue. In the year 451, when Attila the Hun threatened to march on the city, she urged Parisians; "Forsake not your homes for God has heard my prayers. Attila shall retreat." The invader did change his course to bypass Paris and Genevieve was credited with having averted the impending calamity.
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Ste. Genevieve Missouri 63670